So, it’s Valentine’s Day, and all of those that are lost are out looking for love. It’s hard for many people to admit that they taken part in online dating, but you’d be extremely surprised how many of your co-workers, friends, superiors, and significant others (haha, you hope not) are involved in the online dating world in one way or another. We’ve all seen eHarmony’s doctors claim that they’re the best service, some people have heard of Match.com, and others use locality-based services.
Well, I’ll be the first to come out and say it that, “I have done online dating.” Not only that, but my current girlfriend and I met through Match.com. In the words of Brian Regan, “[Match.com] work-ed for mey!” And you’d be surprised to learn, of all the girls I met online, not one of them was sketchy, turned out to be a man, or happened to be someone looking to kill innocent 20-something men. In fact, look at the most beautiful girl I know that is evidently blind enough to fall for me a few months ago. I couldn’t be happier. :)
We both found a ton of success on Match, even before each other. So I decided, I would share my story with you, as well as the tips I have for those of you looking to try online dating. I was successful enough with it that I found a method that really helped me to get the most out of it.
1. Just do it.
Enough with thinking your friends may make fun of you or the idea that online dating is only for people that can’t find dates elsewhere. Just get online and get a trial with a website that seems to fit into what you’re looking for. You’ll be surprised how quickly the trial pulls you in. Your friends may make fun of you later, but you’ll be happy and they’re probably single, or not looking for as awesome of a relationship as you have. Most people I talk to about it are impressed that it actually worked. Then they meet my girlfriend. Then they join Match.com in an attempt to find the same. :)
2. Hunt for the Perfect Profile
Setup some VERY basic parts of your profile and then start browsing some profiles of people of the same sex. What this does is it allows you to see what the opposite sex is seeing and really point out what you DO and DON’T want to have in your profile, along with the goods you can take from a few great profiles to get people to A.) Take you seriously, and B.) Really want to go on a date with you. If you have a friend who has had success, check out their profile for some examples.
3. Give them some Visuals
Upload some current photos, but a variety of headshot, distance photos, etc. YES you’ll be surprised to meet a girl or two that doesn’t look like they do in their photos. Congratulations, welcome to the real world. Being honest in your photos allows the person to not be like, “WOAH NOW! I DID NOT WANT TO MEET YOU LOOKING LIKE THIS!” when they meet you. You probably shouldn’t have your shirt off or your collar popped in any of your photos, unless that’s what your true self is. This goes for your profile as well. Just be honest. That will go a long way in the long run, as well as your initial meetings. If you’re a stalker, say it. Then you’ll find girls that are into stalkers. Game, set, and match. (Haha, thought of that joke afterwards. I’m lame.)
4. Size Up the Competition
Go search for members of the same sex in your zip code. You’ll mostlikely be surprised to find out that you are probably the most qualified person in your area. This allows you to see what the members that are looking for people in your area see when looking for you and how you stand out against the competition.
5. Start Looking (Be Open)
Be open with your searching criteria, and start searching your area for people that may be your match. You can start narrowing down as you move along, but don’t be too picky. It’s better to be able to be aggressive with your searching and dating for a week or two, because it will really help in the overall process. Sit back and let some of the emails roll in (if you’re a girl). If you’re a guy, you need to start being aggressive, as it took a conversation with one of my girl friends to figure out that I wasn’t the one getting pursued.
6. The Trent Gillaspie Method
Here’s where my method comes in. Aside from finally having to use Google Calendar to schedule multiple dates on multiple nights, the method really allows you to work the system as quickly and effectively as possible. On Match.com, they have something called “wink”ing, which is the equivalent of “poke”ing on Facebook. Start doing this with the people you are interested in. Also, make a note of when you “wink” at them, as this will come in handy later. Wink at people you have general interest in, but it doesn’t have to look like the love of your life, and it doesn’t need to be that just since they’re in your zip code, you wink at them.
See if they respond back with a wink or email. If they do, follow up accordingly with an email to them, letting them know what in their profile caught your eye (doesn’t go over as well with a “You’re hot” etc. I’d advise looking at her interests and finding your similarities. Let her know that you’d like to get to know her better. If they don’t respond to your initial wink in a day or two, send them the same email mentioning why you are interested in them. Keep it simple and straightforward. Point out a few similarities, but don’t come off as aggressive.
When it comes to taking things offline, don’t make it a date. A lot of girls on Match.com, or similar sites, don’t want things going to fast. Plus, you don’t want to go spending all your money overboard the first time. Setup a meeting (coffee shop, somewhere that she’ll feel comfortable, or even let her pick… nothing extravagant and nothing where no people are around because she might be creeped out). At the meeting, just make sure it’s casual for both of you, and if things happen to be good at the end of the night, it’s your discretion to take it further, but I suggest getting their number if you simply want to keep in touch, and even ask them out on an official date. Be aggressive with it though. I met 5 girls in one week because I put time and effort into it and wanted to find a girl I wanted to call my girlfriend and fall madly head over heels with (which I’m doing now :) ). But the more time and effort you put into it, the more success you’ll find with it. The most important part is to remain honest through the entire process. If you do this and remain honest, things will work out best for both you and your significant other.
From my experience, I heard I was the most normal guy girls had met on there, and I’m not the aggressive type because it was important to me to be very honest, laid-back, and make them feel comfortable. It proved successful in all cases, and even though it took me a few girls to find the one that fit me best, I can say that things went well with all other girls that I met, and some friends even came out of it. It was mutually beneficial for all parties. If nothing else, you’ll meet a few really great people, and have some great dates. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find the feeling that I have, which is better than anything I can describe :).
The most important things are to have an accurate profile in terms of pictures and content. Make sure it’s complete, and be aggressive with any communications you receive. Get your name out there, but don’t come off like your anxious to get into some girl’s pants, because you shouldn’t be on a dating site if that’s the case. There are plenty of great sites for hookups, I’m sure. You might be able to meet a nice stalker on there as well.
I’ve had nothing but good luck, as you can see, and the people I’ve talked to have had a lot of awesome stories to share as well. Feel free to drop me any questions and any feedback and thoughts as well. I hope some of this was helpful or comforting and maybe even pushed you a bit towards giving it a shot. Go for it. The worst that can happen is getting out there and actually trying it. The best that can happen is my situation.
Happy hunting, and Happy Valentine’s Day!